Public Comment

Middle East Turmoil

Jagjit Singh
Thursday November 19, 2015 - 08:16:00 PM

In the recent Democratic Presidential Debate, Bernie Sanders was right to hold Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire for her hasty, short-sighted decision to topple Saddam Hussein of Iran and Gaddafi of Libya. Her glib response that it was ‘a mistake’ is a gross understatement. Neither Hussein nor Gaddafi were an existential threat to the US. Their removal has plunged the whole Middle East into utter chaos. Sanders was also right to condemn ‘regime change’ as a core foreign US foreign policy objective. It has been an unmitigated disaster in destabilizing so many countries in the world. Western powers, most notably the US, Canada, France, the UK and Israel have flooded the Middle East, with billions of dollars in weapons sales. The US sold Saudi Arabia over $30 billion in F-15 Boeing fighter jets and Lockheed F-16 to bomb Yemen and Syria. The Emirates will be receiving a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions. France has just completed a $10 billion contract with Saudi Arabia. 

The Emirates spent nearly $23 billion last year, more than three times what they spent in 2006. 

Saudi Arabia spent more than $80 billion on weaponry last year and has become the world’s fourth-largest defense market. Our administration and defense contractors seem to be totally unconcerned that our great ‘ally’ Saudi Arabia is the epicenter of terrorism and many of the weapons will be funneled to ISIS and to wage war on Iran and Yemen. Does trade and profits in these killing machines triumph concerns for human life? Doesn’t this conflict with our much touted “core values’? Our current polices are a prescription for mayhem where most of the victims are innocent civilians. As a first step the US and are allies should create a weapons free zone in the Middle East. We should extricate ourselves from regional proxy and sectarian wars and let the Muslim nations sort out their differences which are rooted in a profound disagreements over the rightful descendant of Prophet Mohamad. 

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